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Loyalty in Literature

             Loyalty is a characteristic of being devoted to a person, place, or a thing that requires patience and faith. An example of loyalty is towards another to form a non-waivered allegiance. In the medieval legends Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Morte d'Arthur, heroic figures prove their loyalty through memorable deeds, quests, and contests. .
             In Beowulf, the idea of loyalty is to honor your word and your duty to your family, friends, and the Anglo- Saxons. "A soldier should know the difference betweens words and deeds, and to keep that knowledge clear in his brain. I believe your words, I trust in your friendship" (46). The code of chivalry shows the loyalty of the knights towards keeping their word and being able to trust one another for the better of themselves. Another example, "That I, alone with help of my men, may pure all evil from this hall."(47), shows how loyal Beowulf's soldiers are and how they would fight alongside their leader. Beowulf worked mostly out of loyalty, he tried to be a servant to his king, Hygelac, creating friendship between the Geats and Danes by defeating Grendel and his mother with the company of his fellow soldiers.
             Gawain in, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, shows loyalty to his uncle, King Arthur, when he is the only one to accept the Green Knight's challenge. As promised, Sir Gawain met with the Green Knight in a twelvemonth and a day. ""Little did the knight incline when face to face they stood"; said the other man "Friend mine, it seems your word holds good!""(171). When it was the Green Knight's turn to decapitated Sir Gawain; Sir Gawain might have flinched but he did not flee from what he had brought himself into. "True men pay what they owe: no danger then in sight you failed at the third throw, so take my tap, sir knight."(174). Keeping ones word and following through with what was promised has a great deal in proving your loyalty to your belief, peoples view on you, and to your own trust.

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